As all Christians worldwide celebrate this season, it’s my pleasure rejoicing with us all. This period signals the “last leg” of the 40 days fasting of most Christians and heralds in the trials, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is noteworthy that while most Christians observe 40 days fasting during this time called Lenten season, members of Celestial Church of Christ observe ONLY THE LAST SEVEN DAYS – Passion Week.
Questions had been asked by members to clarify this variation in length of fasting period 7 days versus 40 days and various justifications had been given. The most common of it is that ‘the non-wearing of shoes’ of members of Celestial Church of Christ is a form of fasting. However, in this era of spiritual uplift and enlightenment, members are always interested in Biblical justifications of our actions. During this period, salutations within the fold change.
Palm Sunday -Hosanna, in line with the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. From Monday through to Saturday, it is HALLELUJAH – in assurance of victory during the trials and crucifixion of Christ. On Easter Sunday, the salutation comes back to Halleluyah – Victory ascertained at the resurrection of Christ.
There are many Biblical instances of 40 days fasting ranging from Moses (to collect the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai -Exodus34:28, through Elijah after killing Jezebel’s prophets 1st Kings 19:8 to Jesus Christ before starting His mission Matthew 4:1-2) but none of these was compelled for Christians to observe.
However, the Bible commands us all generations of Israel to observe 7days period of Unleavened bread during the month of Abib (March/April in the Jewish calendar) Exodus 23:15; 34:18. This is also known as the period of Passover. Note that Christ was crucified during Passover. With the above summation, I could deduce that Doctrines of Celestial Church of Christ is Biblical.
We do not fast for 40days during this period because the Bible does not mandate it. It is good if you can afford it but not mandatory.
The last seven days of the ‘Lenten Period’ fall within the mandatory feast of unleavened bread, signaling victory from oppressions of Egypt. And Christ, having been crucified during Passover, we take this period as sober reflection on our activities of the past. And by His resurrection on Easter Sunday, we take delight in hope for betterment of our lives in Christ. To this end, it is clearly seen that members of Celestial celebrate 3 seasons in 1 in the Lord
1 Feast of Passover
2 Trials and Persecution of Christ
3 Resurrection and Birth of Christianity
Looking forward to further enlightenment
-Sup. Evang. T’ Bisi Odukoya
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